At present, infections with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) type 2 occur nearly as frequently as those with BVDV type 1, so development of vaccines that protect cattle from both type 1 and type 2 BVDV has become critical. In this study, we compared various DNA prime-protein boost vaccination strategies to protect cattle from challenge with BVDV-2 using the major protective antigen of BVDV, glycoprotein E2. Calves were immunized with a plasmid encoding either type 1 E2 (E2.1) or type 2 E2 (E2.2) or with both plasmids (E2.1+E2.2). This was followed by a heterologous boost with E2.1, E2.2 or E2.1 and E2.2 protein formulated with Emulsigen and a CpG oligodeoxynucleotide. Subsequently, the calves were challenged with BVDV-2 strain 1373. All vaccinated calves developed both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, including virus-neutralizing antibodies and IFN-gamma-secreting cells in the peripheral blood. Depletion studies showed that CD4+ T cells were responsible for IFN-gamma production. Furthermore, the calves vaccinated with either the E2.2 or the E2.1+E2.2 vaccines were very well protected from challenge with BVDV-2, having little leukopenia and showing no weight loss or temperature response. In addition, the animals vaccinated with the E2.1 vaccine were partially protected, so there was a certain level of cross-protection. These data demonstrate that a vaccination strategy consisting of priming with E2.2 or E2.1+E2.2 DNA and boosting with E2.2 or E2.1+E2.2 protein fully protects cattle from BVDV-2 challenge.